Tutorials: July 2010 Archives
Scrap booking has become big- HUGE- these days. It is a wonderful pastime that can bring friends and families together. Giving a gift like a scrapbook is one of the best presents you can give and great for any occasion. But scrapbooking can be consuming. There are stamps, papers, dies, glitter, fonts, etc to purchase to make your scrapbook awesome. Or you can buy a Cricut, which will eliminate the need for hundreds of dies, fonts and stamps.
I have a feeling though that if you are this far into this article, you are already all for the Cricut. I know I fell in love one sleepless night years ago when I first spied the Cricut infomercial. According to the infomercial the Cricut is not just for scrapbooking but for general crafting and this is too true. Sure, you can whip up a card in no time but that is not just it. Let me guide you through a few of the many Cricut treasures the internet holds.
Let me first show you my article on making paper magnets with your Cricut. It is so easy that it can be your first craft project with your Cricut. I used this method to populate a tree I painted on top of magnetic paint in my daughter's room. I intended to make tons of fabric leaves for this tree but then I received my Cricut for Christmas and the project was finished in no time. I then stepped it up to birds and flowers, because any good tree needs both.
Next, I found a video tutorial from Above Rubies Studio for making name plaques that looks like a lot of fun. It involves painting but no artistic skill really needed. You will also need some vinyl to be cut with your Cricut. The host describes many gift ideas to broaden the range of this craft.
Custom Crops shows up how to make a really beautiful glass soap jar for your guests. This video even includes showing your how to decorate your soap on top of decorating the jar. I spied a second video tutorial by Custom Crops that walks you through making awesome sugar/salt scrubs and gussying them up as spiffy presents. A third video lead me to the sudden urge to make a bunting banner. These ladies are the go-to girls for non-traditional Cricut crafts and I recommend you check out all their videos (very well made too).
I hope this article has encouraged some crafters who are not scrap bookers to look at the Cricut in a new light. I don't really scrapbook but I love my Cricut. It is handy for all of the above as well as cutting out stencils, appliqués and letters. I also hope that I have allowed some scrap bookers to try something new or to get excited about their Cricut all over again.
I love buttons!
"But Tara", you might remark, "You say that in every article.""
"Of course", I will answer, "why would I write about anything I don't love".
And buttons are at the top of the list. They are small, fun, and come in a wide range of size, colors and shapes. Buttons can be used for a wide range of projects and are not relegated to coats, cardigans and pants only. Just do a simple search for button projects and you will find more than you can complete in a year. My favorites are accessories; they turn a simple outfit into something special. Accessories are great for stretching your vacation wardrobe. Double Bonus!
Let's go over a few ideas with links included.
Craftstylish has a great tute on crafting a bracelet and ring from fabric covered buttons.
Thinks Crafts can show you how to make a button pendant
Craftlog has the cutest stacked button ring ever
But enough of that, I have my own project: a button flower hair bob. You can wear it with a bun, on your wrist as a corsage, wrap it on a head band or even slip it on to a belt with your fave dress.
Cut a strip of fabric 2 in by 12 in and from a coordinating fabric a strip 1 in by 12 in. Lay the 1 in strip on top of the 2 in strip, lining up the edges. Use a running strip, ¼ in from the edge and pull tight and knot. Stack 2 of your favorite buttons and attach them to the center of the fabric flower. Turn your button flower over and stitch on a rubber band and you are done. It takes no time. You can whip up a bunch for additions to gift bags and cards. Decorations for wine bottles as hostess presents. The sky's the limit.
One of my favorite reasons to sew is for kids. Now that I have one our birthday party invitations have increased exponentially. We trek off to a kid party every month. I try to make something different for each kid so I don't get bored and each one has something special just for them. Sewing for kids is enjoyable because the restraints of matching are exchanged in favor of favorite colors; attention to detail is traded for creative stitches and sneaking in glitter where ever possible is always encouraged. I love sewing for kids and challenge myself to push the boundaries of picking prints, adding details (like secret pockets for treasures) and including something extra just for that child.
Some great kid patterns and tutorials are:
- My Puppet show pattern, birthday crown and super hero appliqué
- Twirly Skirt Pattern
- Birthday Bunting
- Dragon Tail
- Stuffed Dinosaur
- Kid Tent: I made this last week for a 3 yr old and last month for 2yr old twins and have had reports back from the parents that the tents were big hits. The 3 yr old spent all night in his tent and I even had requests for more tents from other party goers (Fabric.com keeps me way too busy to go into the tent making business, though). The pattern calls for making these out of twin sheet but you can sub in our solid color quilting fabrics or extra wide backing (a twin flat sheet is 66 in. by 75 in. or 4 yds of 45 in. wide fabric cut in half and sew together). You can pick out 1 yd or 2 of a coordinating print for the flap decoration and flags. I added an embroidered initial on one flag and another had the initial with Heat n Bond.
While this was not my intended topic for today, a recent project has brought blocking to the surface again. My Wisp is coming to the final few repeats and I will need to block it to best show my work. However, I do not have a good blocking station set up yet. I bounce from one location to another trying to find the sweet spot. My mind has turned to building my own.
Many knitters are of 2 minds on blocking. Some are willing to wait an extra day or two for the best fit and presentation, while others just want to wear the darn thing already. I am understand both but I prefer to wait and block. After all that work I really do want my project to fit as the picture depicts. However, block locations are not easy to come by. So knitters purchase boards or foam blocks. Others use what is to hand such as towel covered tables, mattresses and empty square of carpet (I am the carpet person and recommend you vaccum first). The block board is the best choice but can be expensive ($70-100-Yikes). However, with the right fabric--yes, fabric--you can make your own blocking board. It is relatively easy and cheap. Here is the low down.
Materials you will need:
Approx 3ft by 3ft, ½ in. thick OSB (a type of plywood)
Acoustic ceiling tiles to fit 3ft by 3ft
1 can of general spray adhesive
Cabinet handle** (Optional)
1 ½ yd of 1in. Gingham (color of your choice)
The OSB and ceiling tiles can be found at your local hardware store and you can find the gingham here. Now what you want to do is... Lay down your OSB and lay your ceiling tiles on top. Cut your ceiling tiles with scissors or electric knife to fit if needed. Once your tiles fit, apply the spray adhesive according to the directions to affix the tiles to the OSB. Next lay your gingham on top of the ceiling tiles. Take your whole blocking board sandwich and flip it over so the fabric is on bottom with the OSB on top. Straighten up your board on the fabric again if needed. Gently staple your fabric onto the back of the board starting in the center top, then the center bottom and center right and then center left (pulling your fabric taunt). Make sure to straighten after each staple if needed. Continue to add staples all around until the fabric is secure. Trim excess fabric. Add the cabinet handle as a carrying handle to one end if you so desire.
Your blocking board is now ready to use. The big 1 in. gingham squares serve as a ruler and straight edge to adjust your projects. Use with rust proof pins to secure your projects to the blocking board. For an excellent article on blocking, check out Eunny Lang's post here.